Video of the Day: Romney 'Not Concerned About the Very Poor'

The GOP frontrunner just can't stop explaining his positions in the most damaging way possible.


Watch this video now, before you get sick of it, because you can expect to hear it replayed a million times between now and November. Speaking with CNN's Soledad O'Brien Tuesday night after his commanding victory in Florida, Romney made a serious unforced error. "I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs a repair, I'll fix it. I'm not concerned about the very rich. I'm concerned about the very heart of America, the 90-95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling."

Oof.

You can actually see what Romney's trying to do here. There's a grand tradition of politicians insisting they care about the middle class, since most Americans consider themselves middle class. It's how Romney phrased it that is obviously damaging. It's reminiscent of his statement that he likes to be able to fire people: in that case, he was voicing the reasonable sentiment that he likes to be able to change insurance providers, but he harmed himself by putting in the context of firing during a time of high unemployment. Here, an obviously tired candidate botched his play to the middle class by making it all about the poor.

To make matters worse, the Business Channel's Derek Thompson breaks down how Romney's policies might actually hurt the very poor by raising their taxes.

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David A. Graham is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Politics Channel. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

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